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Are S.E. Shires Trumpets Any Good? (Explained For Beginners)

One of the most popular trumpet manufacturers today is S.E. Shires.

With Shires, you’ll get a fantastic trumpet that’s built to last and can go toe-to-toe with any of the other major brands like Yamaha or Bach.

If you’re a really serious trumpet player, you can even special-order a customized trumpet from Shires. You can choose different options for bells, leadpipes, tuning slides, and bore size.

They do not produce student instruments.

In this post, we’ll go over the ins and outs of S.E. Shires and decide if they’re worth your time or if you should look somewhere else:

The Quality of S.E. Shires Trumpets:

Shires trumpets are hand-made in America and are some of the most highly-regarded instruments on the market today. They’re loved by symphony players and jazz musicians alike because of their rich sound, superb projection, and easy response. Shires only produce advanced and pro-grade instruments.

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How Hard or Easy Are Shires Trumpets to Play?

Shires trumpets are great for advancing players who have already played a little while and need something with more power and flexibility.

But like other high-end trumpets, they might not be the best option for beginners.

Here’s why:

No Student Trumpets:

Student-level trumpets are designed to be easy to play for beginners. They’re built to be durable while still forgiving to new players.

Advanced-level horns like Shires have more flexibility and are usually more free-blowing. This can be frustrating to some beginners, as it’s harder to “lock in” to the note you’re trying to play.

With all that said, student trumpets have their limitations.

Shires trumpets are a great choice for advancing players. If you’ve been playing trumpet for a while, then these instruments will work wonderfully for you.

For an in-depth explanation, check out our article on why pro trumpets are harder for beginners to play.

What Genres Are Shires Trumpets Good For?

S.E. Shires trumpets have been seen in all types of settings.

If you keep your eye out, you’ll notice Shires artists in all sorts of performing groups around the world.

Are Shires Trumpets Good For Classical Music?


They can produce a rich, vibrant tone that meets the demanding needs of any classical trumpet player.

Many of the top-performing players today are playing on S.E. Shires trumpets.

Some Shires artists include players from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, New York City Ballet, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and other orchestras and chamber groups throughout the United States.

Are Shires Trumpets Good for Jazz?

Not only do Shires trumpets fare well in classical music, but they’re also sought after among jazz and pop musicians.

Shires trumpets can play in contemporary styles, including jazz, funk, Latin, rock, and more.

The renowned Doc Severinson made the switch over to Shires. They’ve even collaborated to make a custom model – the Doc Severinson “Destino III.”

If you look at the list of recognized Shires trumpet artists, you’ll find musicians from world-famous bands and acts, including:

  • Celine Dion
  • B.B.King
  • U.S. Army Blues
  • Walt Disney World
  • Michael Bublé
  • Brian Setzer Orchestra

No matter what genre of music you’re into, there’s a Shires trumpet that’s well suited for your needs.

How Long do Shires Trumpets Last?

S.E. Shires has only been around since 1995, so their instruments have only been around for about 25 years or so.

So while they don’t have the legacy of other brands like Bach or Yamaha, they’re still considered high-quality instruments loved by educators and professionals alike.

If you take care of your Shires trumpet, it can potentially last you around 60 years.

Like any other trumpet, you’ll have to work to maintain it.

Here are a few tips to help you take care of your Shires trumpet:

  • Regularly clean out the valves to remove dirt and buildup
  • Apply valve oil to keep the pistons lubricated
  • Use slide grease to keep the tuning slides working properly
  • Run water through the tubes every month or so.
  • Take your instrument into a repair shop at least once a year to have it professionally serviced

S.E. Shires is also fully owned by the Eastman Music Company, which is one of the largest makers of brass, woodwind, and string instruments in the world today.

If you ever need repairs done on your Shires trumpet, you won’t have any problem getting parts for it.

This is thanks to Eastman’s extensive network of distributors and repair shops.

What Are People Saying?

We scoured forums and reviews to see what people are saying about S.E. Shires and their trumpets.

Here’s what some are saying:

Incredibly Responsive

Over and over, players commented on how responsive these trumpets are.

There’s no delay in the sound when buzzing, and the flexibility makes changing notes a breeze.

Very Open and Free-blowing

Shires trumpets are incredibly free-blowing and produce a rich, open sound.

Some players might find the instruments a little too open and need something more resistant.

A Good Investment?

Casual and professional players alike have generally been pleased with their instruments.

Shires trumpets can easily become someone’s forever instrument that carries them through college and their professional career.

They’re fantastic instruments for casual players too.

How Well Do Shires Trumpets Hold Their Value?

Shires is a popular brand, so their trumpets generally hold their value really well.

You can find some used Q Series trumpets (their more affordable model) for around $1,700 or more online.

Some of the higher-end Shires models have been spotted used for up to $4,000.

Regardless of what price you find them, there are risks to buying used instruments. We wouldn’t recommend buying used unless you can try it out yourself or have some way of testing it.

How Long Is The Warranty On S.E. Shires Trumpets?

Shires trumpets come with a limited 2-year warranty.

This warranty is only available to the original purchaser of the instrument and covers any defects in workmanship or materials.

Shires will refer you to the original dealer you bought the instrument from if you notice a defect. You won’t be able to send it directly to them for service.

Like with most manufacturers, the store will facilitate any warranty service with Shires. This is a common practice in the music industry and actually benefits the end-user.

Instead of waiting to ship your instrument back and forth from the factory, you can have your local music shop take care of the warranty for you.

What Gear Do You Get With a Shires Trumpet?

Shires trumpets come packed with a mouthpiece similar to ones made by Bach.

They make the mouthpieces in partnership with Picket Brass, who make great brass mouthpieces and accessories.

You might also want to go with a tried and tested Bach 7C or 3C mouthpiece.

Shires trumpets only come in a silver-plated finish, so we recommend getting a silver polish cloth to keep your instrument looking nice and shiny.

Then finally, you’ll need to have some valve oil to keep the pistons nice and lubricated.

Some other accessories you can look into:

  • A stand for your trumpet
  • Upgrading to a nicer case
  • Mutes to play with different sounds
  • Tuning slide grease
  • Brushes for cleaning out your trumpet

Final Thoughts:

Shires is a young brand, but in the short time they’ve been around, they’ve established themselves as a top contender in the world of trumpets.

These are some of their most popular models:

  • Q Series Professional Trumpet
  • Model A Custom Series Trumpet
  • Doc Severinson “Destino III” Artist Series Trumpet

If you’re looking for a high-quality professional trumpet, you should definitely consider looking at an S.E. Shires.



S.E. Shires General Limited Warranty